Throwback Thursday-Night Of The Iguana (1964)

We all make mistakes, that is part and parcel of being a human being. But what happens when we are forced to look at those mistakes and try to make amends?

In the 1964 film, Night Of The Iguana (based on a play by Tennessee Williams), Reverend Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon (Richard Burton) is a defrocked priest who now makes his living by as a tour guide at a discount travel agency in Mexico. His newest charges are a group of middle ages women from Texas. The leader of the group, Judith Fellowes (Grayson Hall) is accompanied by her teenage ward, Charlotte Goodall (Sue Lyon).

Despite the marked age difference and the warning from her guardian, Charlotte spending the evening with Lawrence. When Judith finds out, she tries to reach out to Lawrence’s manager and have him fired, but Lawrence intercepts the message and sends the women to a remote hotel run by Maxine Falk (Ava Gardner). While this is happening, Hannah Jelkes (Deborah Kerr) and her elderly grandfather also become guests at Maxine’s hotel. By the end of the film, Lawrence will be forced to take a hard look at his life, thanks to Hannah.

The narrative and the characters are standard for a Tennessee Williams play. He never writes simple stories with 2D characters and the standard Hollywood/happily ever after ending. His stories are always complicated, his characters are flawed and the final scene could be construed as ambiguous.

I recommend it.

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